PARIS, March 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for
the S&P 500 up 0.16 percent, Dow Jones futures up
0.18 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.28 percent at
* European shares edged up and the euro hovered near
three-month lows against the dollar on expectations the European
Central Bank could point to future policy easing following its
rate-setting meeting on Thursday.
* The ECB is expected to hold its interest rates at a record
low of 0.75 percent, and investors will be seeking clues about
whether the euro zone's central bank is moving towards another
cut in rates.
* Despite the efforts of the U.S. Federal Reserve to use
easy monetary policy to boost jobs, the country's economy is
stuck in "neutral" more than three years after the end of the
recession, a top Fed official said on Wednesday.
* Johnson Controls Inc is exploring a potential sale
of its automotive electronics business, but has no "current
intention" to sell its automotive interiors unit, the company
said on Wednesday.
* U.S. retailer Costco Wholesale Corp posted a 6
percent rise in comparable sales in February, beating Wall
Street expectations, helped by higher fuel prices.
* Activist investor Carl Icahn has built a stake of around
100 million shares in Dell Inc and wants the personal
computer maker to conduct a leveraged recapitalization,
complicating founder Michael Dell's effort to take the company
private, CNBC reported.
* Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, the largest shareholder of
Tiffany & Co, further raised its stake in the U.S.
luxury jeweler to 11.27 percent, according to a regulatory
* Time Warner Inc will soon be without the magazine
unit that provided the foundation for the company and the first
part of its name.
* On the macro side, investors are awaiting international
trade data for January, due at 1330 GMT, weekly jobless claims,
also at 1330 GMT, as well as productivity figures for the fourth
quarter, also due at 1330 GMT.
* Wall Street mostly edged higher on Wednesday, with the Dow
hitting another record, helped by a private payroll survey that
bodes well for the monthly jobs report due at the week's end.
* The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42.47 points,
or 0.30 percent, to 14,296.24, another record closing high. The
Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged up 1.67 points, or 0.11
percent, to 1,541.46. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped
1.77 points, or 0.05 percent, to close at 3,222.36.